A few weeks ago we wondered aloud (via Twitter) where to get pumpkin ice cream. Your enthusiastic responses made it clear: November ’tis the time to tantalize your tongue with pumpkin. From pumpkin pie to pumpkin cookies to pumpkin bread, it feels like every bakery, bar and bistro is offering some delicious treat using this hearty squash. Take our G-train tour to sample all manner of treats highlighting the tasty Cucurbitaceae family, or consider it pre-Thanksgiving scouting for the perfect desert or side dish.
First stop, Ladybird Bakery (1112 Eight Ave between 11th and 12th Sts; 718-499-8108), formally Two Little Red Hens, in Park Slope. Right by the 7th Avenue station, this bakery whips up a light and airy pumpkin mousse tart ($9 to $23) complete with fluffy marshmallows lining the sides. If you just want to stop in for a snack, try the pumpkin bar ($2.50), which is a denser version of the tart but has the same rich pumpkin flavor with a mild nutmeg and cinnamon kick.
Hop back on the train, and continue your pumpkin adventure with the bite-sized pumpkin whoopee pies ($1.25) at One Girl Cookies (68 Dean St between Boerum Pl and Smith St; 212-675-4996, Bergen St. station) in Cobble Hill. These treats are so good and so popular, said the manager, that they started making them all year round. After one bite of the moist, lightly spiced shell filled with a not-to-sweet cream cheese frosting, you’ll be glad that these are staples instead of seasonal treats.
Next stop on the list, Fort Greene’s Tillie’s of Brooklyn (248 Dekalb Ave at Vanderbilt; 718-783-6140, Clinton-Washington station), which is the only café that carries the dense pumpkin-walnut tea cake ($3.25) by Boerum Hill’s Betty Bakery (448 Atlantic Ave between Nevins and Bond Sts; 718-246-2402). Owner Patricia Mulcahy said they are also working on a spicy pumpkin Chai tea to pair with thick slices of the raisin laden loaf, but until then, a cup of English breakfast does it justice.
Get back on the train and head for Williamsburg. A short walk from the Metropolitan Avenue stop will bring you to Wild Ginger (212 Bedford Ave between 6th and 5th Sts; 718-218-8828), a pan-Asian vegetarian restaurant. Here, they serve a delicious and hearty pumpkin soup ($4). The salty broth is spiced with cilantro and onions, a simple combination that lets the tender chunks of pumpkin shine. Eat the morsels in pieces or mash them up with your spoon, either way, warm up with a bowl of this healthy and tasty stew.
After so much solid pumpkin goodness, it’s about time to indulge in a liquid version. Not far from Wild Ginger, Brooklyn Brewery (79 N 11th St at Wythe Ave; 718-486-7422) is stirring up a mild seasonal beer, the Post Road Pumpkin Ale. Where most pumpkin beers run the risk of tasting like pie, this one allows some hoppy bitterness to come through. You can pick up a pint ($6) on draft next door at the Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave between N 11th and 12th Sts; 718-963-3369) or at P.J. Hanley’s (449 Court St between 3rd and 4th Pl; 718-834-8223). If you’re feeling inspired to make your own pumpkin item, grab some Post Road Pumpkin Ale and one of Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stouts and whip up a pumpkin ale chocolate cake created by Jennie Chen of the Miso Hungry Now blog. Or, just down your brew with any of these other pumpkin treats.
Text and photos by Linnea Covington; sent by Annaliese.